Friday, September 20, 2013
Film of the Night is "Antichrist" (2009)
"Antichrist" is a 2009 Danish film Written and Directed by Lars Von Trier. It is equal parts Art Film and Horror Film, combining powerful, surreal images with bits of graphic violence. The film centers on a husband (Willem Dafoe) and wife (Charlotte Gainsburg), who experience the death of their child. The husband who is a psychiatrist attempts to treat his wife's all consuming grief on his own, eventually going to a cabin in the forest the have previously vacationed at, known as Eden. Once there the wife's increasingly erratic behavior and violent, sexual outbursts worsen as the husband begins having strange visions. The film is not one for the weak as their are graphic depictions of violence and sex, which include full frontal nudity, and even, briefly, penetration. The is much overlap between sex and violence in the film that at its most brutal delves into genital mutilation. There are multiple layers of interpretation to the film, as with most of Lars Von Trier's work. I thoroughly enjoy the film and find it to be quite powerful, the cinematography is darkly beautiful, the acting tremendous, and the atmosphere of the film is strong and menacing. I would definitely recommend it to the Horror fan who appreciates more artistic cinema and can stomach very strong images. Now, the more casual Horror fan or someone looking for pure blood and guts will probably be turned off by the more Artistic nature of the film and honestly may find the film "boring" or "pretentious". If you enjoy this, I would recommend some other transgressive films films that blur the lines between Horror, Drama, and Art House such as "Salo", "Irreversible", and "El Topo".
NOTE: These Film of the Night pieces will intentionally be somewhat vague as I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who may not have seen it. The intention of these is to promote films I love and I most definitely do not want to ruin the movie before someone even sees it.